True Refuge

Did you know you are meant to be hidden? As children, I think we feel this acutely. Walking into a new, strange place we hide behind our parent’s back, shy with our words and our gaze. We want assurance from them that this place and these people will be safe and will welcome us for who we are.

When we grow up we think we should grow out of this need, this fear, this questioning. We say we’ve grown out of our shy phase but truth be told we never do. As adults, we hide behind the persona that we’ve created, behind our accomplishments, our status, our accumulations. Sure we are no longer hiding behind our parents anymore and walk with boldness into these new, strange places but inside we’re still questioning if this will be a safe place that will welcome us for who we truly are.

Truth is, it is our nature to desire to be hidden in a safe place, a refuge. And this is not because of the Fall, no it was a desire woven into us at the Creation of our race. Sin merely manipulated this truth, as it always does to draw us to seek our refuge in other places that do not satisfy and protect or to put us in denial for so long that we do not even recognize our true need for what it is, part of the fabric of our being.

This morning as I was reading Scripture I came to Psalm 16. Read it with me;

Protect me, O God, for I seek refuge in You.

I say to the LORD,

“You are my Lord, my benefactor;

there is none above You.”

As to the holy and mighty ones that are in the land,

my whole desire concerning them is that those who espouse another god may have many sorrows!

I will have no part of their bloody libations;

their names will not pass my lips.

The LORD is my allotted share and portion;

You control my fate.

Delightful country has fallen to my lot;

lovely indeed is my estate.

I bless the LORD who has guided me;

my conscience admonishes me at night.

I am ever mindful of the LORD’s presence;

He is at my right hand; I shall never be shaken.

So my heart rejoices,

my whole being exults,

and my body rests secure.

For You will not abandon me to Sheol,

or let Your faithful one see the Pit.

You will teach me the path of life.

Your presence is perfect joy;

delights are ever in Your right hand.”

When I was done reading I was reminded of the first time God reminded me I was created for refuge in Him. I had been living in denial when God had the scales fall from eyes while reading the first chapter of, “Waking Up Grey,” by Jennie Schut. (I’ve shared several times of how God has used this as a guide book during this leg of my journey). She writes, “Hiding in God is something that is strung throughout Scripture. God is referred to with such names as Refuge, Hiding Place, Fortress, Shelter. Do you know that it is okay to feel the need to hide? Don’t interpret your strong desire to stay hidden as something of cowardice, sheepish foolish or bad. He understands our need for refuge and has made provision for it.” The lie had told me my need was bad but now the truth told me it was good. And that provision He has made is Himself, more specifically Christ.

When I find my refuge in the LORD it says that “my heart (will) rejoice, my whole being exults and my body rests secure.” When I’m hidden in God it means I am in His presence and there I will learn, “the path of life” and “perfect joy.” No other refuge I have sought has ever given that.

The challenge, of course, is to stay hidden in our proper hiding place. Like the prodigal sons are nature is to wander and leave but thankfully we have a Father who is always looking for us and runs to meet us, welcomes us home and throws a banquet in our honor. When I remember my true identity and join the Father at His urging plea to refuge in Him I find the safety and freedom to come into my true self. I must set about me reminders of the truth to call me home.

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